Candidates for Vice President of Equity and Instruction

Finalists have been selected in the search for a new Vice President of Equity and Instruction at Contra Costa College.

All faculty, classified professionals, managers, students, and community members are invited to watch the forums and provide feedback by 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20th.

Thank you to all members of the hiring committee for their diligent work.

Jason Berner

Tuesday, March 12 at 1:15 p.m.
Fireside Hall or Zoom

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Jason Berner has worked at higher-education institutions for the last 30-plus years, as a tutor, teacher, classified professional, and administrator.  Jason began his career at Hunter College in New York City, where he worked as a writing instructor and later managed their Reading Resource Center and Office of Developmental English.  After stints as a tutoring coordinator at Marymount College (Tarrytown, New York) and LaGuardia Community College (Long Island City, NY), Jason came to Contra Costa College, where he has worked since 2001.

At CCC, Jason first served as the faculty tutoring coordinator and as an instructor in the Academic Skills and (later) English Department, where he taught composition, and helped develop the Campus-wide Tutoring Program and, as part of a Title III grant, a supplemental instruction program.  During his time as a faculty member, Jason served as a department chair, Professional Development Coordinator, Basic Skills Coordinator, and Curriculum Instruction Committee chair, and he was also the lead editor on the 2014 accreditation self-study. In 2014, Jason became the Dean of the Liberal Arts Division, and in 2022, he began serving as the acting Senior Dean of Instruction, the Chief-Instructional Officer (CIO) of the college.  In this capacity, Jason oversees the Scheduling and Curriculum offices, as well as managing evaluation and faculty-hiring processes and serving on numerous College and District committees and work groups.

In his spare time, Jason is an active member of the local theatre community and the servant of a fairly demanding cat.

Sam Agdasi

Tuesday, March 12 at 2:30 p.m.
Fireside Hall or Zoom

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A lifelong educator, Sam Agdasi has more than 25 years of experience in higher education. His professional experience includes serving at three community college systems in three different states which has immensely enriched his experience. He has served as a faculty member, chair, dean, and vice president of academic services.

In his most recent role, he served as the Vice President of Academic Services/Chief Academic Officer at Highland Community College in Illinois leading all instructional services of the college including more than seventy academic programs, regional accreditation of the college, strategic enrollment management, budget, production of course catalog and schedule of classes, strategic planning, and other academic services endeavors.

Sam’s leadership at Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) as the Dean of Technology and Health Division demonstrated his ability to manage a complex division with programs ranging from architecture to nursing in one of California’s largest community colleges. His strategic vision and operational acumen led to enrollment growth, enhanced academic program offerings, and design of innovative instructional infrastructures. To ensure student success with equitable outcomes, Sam also led and enhanced the operation of three student support centers within the division.

Before joining Mt. SAC, Sam Served as the Dean of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering and Applied Science at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana leading the division on three campuses. Through initiatives that bridged the gap between the college, industry, community, and four-year institutions, Sam extended transfer, employment, internship, and research opportunities for students. His work highlighted a forward-thinking approach to educational leadership, deeply informed by his extensive experience and a personal commitment to making a difference in the lives of students.

Before being an administrator, Sam was a faculty member and chair of nanotechnology at Ivy Tech Community College. He developed the entire curriculum including nine nanotechnology courses that exemplified his commitment to providing innovative educational opportunities for students. Before serving at Ivy Tech, Sam was a Research Specialist at Purdue University in Indiana, and also a Program Chair and Instructor for Purdue Continuing Education Division and designed a non-credit program to prepare students for medical college admission test.

On a personal note, Sam came to the United States as an immigrant in search of a better life and found opportunities to fulfill that dream. Since then, he feels a deep sense of duty and inner calling to provide the same opportunities for underserved students and help them achieve their dreams, too. He has done that with his deeds not just words: from implementing equity-minded pedagogical strategies when he was a professor, to recruiting diverse faculty and staff since he served as an administrator, from providing state-of-the-art educational infrastructure for community college students, to serving on equity-minded committees; those are all testaments to his commitment to serve the underserved with diversity, equity, and inclusion at the core of his endeavors.